I'm reflecting back on my experience, not so long ago, of living through the crisis of the coronavirus. Although it was difficult, scary and very sad, I have to say that it was also beneficial in some important ways. I had always considered myself to be an introvert - someone who prefers solitary activities and small intimate social groups. Well I've learned that I actually have a desperate need for human contact and plenty of it! Even though I was blessed with the opportunity to continue "seeing" my clients through telecounseling, I really, really missed sitting down over a cup of tea with them and being very much in the same physical space. To my surprise and delight, I discovered that I'm an extrovert of sorts! Like many, I was awed and overwhelmed. One day life was so normal and the next it was upside down. I felt like the ground was removed from beneath me; I guess we all did. In the past several years I have been studying various texts on faith and trust with a couple of weekly women's groups and now we were all put to the test. With loved ones, friends and neighbors falling ill, did we still believe what we had been reading, that "everything is designed for our good?" Did we still believe that "everything would turn out well." Happily, many of us could answer 'yes'! Texts like Sarah Yosef's "It's All in Your Mind" and others, worked their magic. I remember that I was able to focus on my day-to-day life with full concentration, passion and purpose. This was one of the most spiritually productive periods of my life (and isn't that exactly what it was designed for?). I actually managed to improve a character trait that I had been struggling with forever! And although I had already cultivated a serious gratitude practice by that time, I was able to scale even higher heights! I see now that I had been plateauing before COVID-19. I needed that wake-up call, that keener appreciation that time was running out. I can't say that I'm happy to have to learn lessons the hard way, but I am grateful for the opportunity to reach higher levels of my potential. And of course, it wasn't just me - the whole world around me was suddenly awake and thriving. Love and unity washed over all of us. We are still enjoying some of its glow; I hope that it stays forever. I hope that we can hold onto the sense of urgency that opened our hearts back then. And now that everything is open again - business as used-to-be usual - and we're running around like we used to, I'm looking back with a bit of nostalgia at the simplicity of the life we managed to live for those months. "Real Simple" Magazine came to life. Everything was stripped down to the bare minimum, leaving us with hardly more than our souls. No distractions, nowhere to run to. Alone with ourselves. Alone with our inner critics, our thought patterns, and the people we lived with in our homes. Wow - talk about up close. We were smacked in the face with the quality of our relationships and our inner worlds. No one could escape the process of reflection and self-examination. Hey, that's not a bad thing. We really had to stretch ourselves and so many of us will benefit for the rest of our lives. Yes, that was a really weird time. I'm glad it's over. And even though so much good came out of it, I don't want it to happen again. Maybe if we continue to live vibrantly, with our new levels of awareness, insight and elevated conduct, maybe it won't need to.
From my Daily Parenting Post. Sign up now to receive them in your inbox; www.dailyparentingposts.com/sign-up